Welcome to our selection of the very best property advisers to help you whether you’re buying or selling, in a dormant London market or more buoyant rural areas
Readers might notice something different about this year’s Property Index. As before, it contains a thorough list of the top property advisers – but this time to reflect the abundance of talent at the top, we are publishing top ten lists of London buying and selling agents, as well as a country top ten.
There are thus several new entries in the top lists. James Gilbert-Green, who has just moved from Strutt & Parker to Savills, makes the top ten selling agents. So does Lichfields’ Ed Tryon, who’s handling some of the capital’s chunkiest off-plan new-build deals. GLP Fine Properties’ founder Giuliana La Pera Davies (pictured left) is another new entry on the overall list, with a focus on UNHW buyers requiring ‘paparazzi-proof’ properties. Meanwhile, Jo Eccles returns to the Index after a rebrand of her company, now called SP Property.
We also have mainstays in the index, such as Prime Purchase’s Guy Meacock, who tells us: ‘Although we are not expecting 2018 to be a record breaker there is a sense that some buyers will see this year as a chance to get off the fence.’ Other stalwarts of the Top Ten on the buying side include Naomi Heaton of London Central Portfolio who is also confident of future growth; Nathalie Hirst who is described by a peer as ‘incredibly hard-working’; and Richard and Sophie Rogerson who have seen an increase in clients wanting lateral living in the past year.
We’ve also grown our legal section, which now includes Sonal Thakrar of Mishcon de Reya, the ‘dynamite conveyancer’ who impressed with a number of complex, high-value transactions.
That’s not to say there aren’t mainstays across the Index, including the evergreen Peter Wetherell, who scooped up our 2017 Property Adviser of the Year Award.
On the whole, 2017 was bleak, even for our gilded 57. Andy Buchanan – ‘Mr Chelsea’ as he’s known – is one of many who think that it’s not so much Brexit that’s to blame, but rather stamp duty and low stock: ‘Brexit is an excuse for people not to do something, but actually what’s behind it all is that there’s very little temptation,’ he says.
The good news is that the market looks set to bottom out this year – that’s according to many out of the advisers we asked, although there remain some cautionary voices, among them Tryon, who take a less optimistic view. Outside the capital, the outlook is cheerier: experienced country hands such as Alex Lawson rejoice as buyers from the financial sector return after ‘practically disappearing’ post-Lehman.
It’s a nuanced picture, and these advisers have never been more necessary. ‘You wouldn’t go into court and represent yourself’, says Camilla Dell of Black Brick, a three-time nominee for Spear’s Property Adviser of the Year. ‘Why on earth would you embark on such an important transaction without representation?’
Spear’s is wary of concrete forecasts for 2018. Instead, we put our faith in the specialised wisdom gleaned from the best in the business. All our chosen few are worth their weight in gold – so perhaps the best bet for now is to be bold and give one a call. As Dell says, ‘You can’t afford not to.’
Top ten London buying
Robert Bailey Robert Bailey Properties
Camilla Dell Black Brick
Naomi Heaton London Central Portfolio
Nathalie Hirst Nathalie Hirst
Tracy Kellett BDI Home Finders
Guy Meacock Prime Purchase
Roarie Scarisbrick Property Vision
Alex Stroud Alex Stroud Property Search
Ed Tryon Lichfields
Top ten London selling
Trevor Abrahmsohn Glentree International
Andy Buchanan John D Wood
Rupert des Forges Knight Frank
James Gilbert-Green Savills
Gary Hersham Beauchamp Estates
Jonathan Hewlett Savills
Louise Hewlett Louise Hewlett-Properties
Jake Russell Russell Simpson
Thomas Van Straubenzee & Rory Penn Knight Frank
Peter Wetherell Wetherell
Top ten country specialists
Philip Eddell Savills
Jonathan Harington Haringtons
Ed Heaton Heaton & Partners
Clive Hopkins Knight Frank
Tom Hudson Middleton Advisors
Alex Lawson Savills
Mark McAndrew Strutt & Parker
Rupert Sweeting Knight Frank
Charlie Wells Prime Purchase
To see who the top players in 2017 were click here